Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Health Matters - How Will NHS Cuts Affect You?

One issue in tonight’s DriveTime – NHS Cost Cutting! Dr Richard Pile, a GP Partner at Parkbury House Surgery in St Albans (and also a Commissioning Group Board Member) gave us the answers on DriveTime this evening.

1.     Background
Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group (“HVCCG”) is responsible for healthcare provision in our area, and they need to cut costs! They must make £45m in savings APR 2017 – and that’s over 5% of the annual budget! Money was tight in the last Financial Year (16/17); around £10m in savings. That puts the £45m into context!

2.     What is being done?
These proposals are about:
* Tightening up existing rules so that people who smoke or whose weight is classified as ‘obese’ are required to make bigger improvements to their health before non-urgent surgery – unless a longer wait for surgery would be harmful 
* Limiting routine prescription of medicines and products that can be bought without prescription for short-term conditions and minor ailments
* Restricting the prescribing of gluten-free foods
* Stopping the routine funding of female sterilisation procedures
* Stopping the routine funding of vasectomies
* Restricting the availability of NHS-funded IVF (in vitro fertilisation) and specialist fertility services, other than in exceptional circumstances
The NHS wants your opinion on these changes – go to www.healthierfuture.org.uk/nhsletstalk
3. What will the impact on Patients be?
These proposals seek to introduce changes that will have a minimal impact on the patient experience; although the £45m is a huge saving to have to make it is hoped that patients will barely notice any impact!

4.  What about Hospitals?
The HVCCG board finally approved the strategic outline case produced by West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust (WHHT) which proposes the redevelopment of existing hospital sites at Watford General Hospital and St Albans City Hospital with as much new-build as possible.

5. Have Your Say
There are a number of upcoming events you may like to attend
There are a number of upcoming events you may like to attend
·         Wednesday 19 July, 11am to 1pm - Drop-by session, St Albans Hospital
·         Saturday 22 July, 9am to 12 noon - Drop-by session, St Albans market
·         Monday 24 July, 7 to 9pm - Public meeting, Stanborough Centre, St Albans Road, Watford
·         Monday 31 July, 7 to 9pm - Public meeting, Rothamsted Centre, Harpenden

The consultation period ends in late SEP and we’ve invited Dr Pile to come back on Health Matters in OCT to tell us what they learned!


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